The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) mourns the passing of the founding President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Comrade Mario Masuku.

NEHAWU conveys deep and heartfelt condolences to the Masuku family, PUDEMO and the entire progressive movement of Swaziland.

Cde Masuku dedicated his entire life to fighting against the oppression by King Mswati and his Tinkundla regime. Even after numerous imprisonments he refused to be deterred and continued to pursue the struggle for a free Swaziland. His tenacity and dedication was an inspiration to all progressive forces who pursued freedom, democracy, peace and social progress.

When his health had deteriorated he did not see that as a reason to slow down or cower under the highhanded tactics by the King. His courageous defiance of the King will forever be etched in our memories and must serve as an inspiration to all peace loving people across the world.

He was the founding member of the Swaziland Union of Financial and Allied Workers (SUFIAW) where he was recruited by the underground structures of PUDEMO which led to him to being elected as the founding President on the 6th July 1983. He led the underground PUDEMO until it unbanned itself in 1991. He stepped down from leading the organisation in 2018 to allow a fresh crop of leaders to carry forward the struggle, however, he continued to be Ambassador in Chief for PUDEMO and the Swaziland revolution across the world.

In his honour the national union will continue to vigorously pursue the struggle for a free Swaziland. As NEHAWU, we remain fully behind the demands by the people of Swaziland namely:

  • Unbanning of all political parties
  • Release of all political prisoners
  • Unconditional return of all exiles
  • Free media and freedom of speech
  • Rescinding of the royal 1973 Tinkundla decree which concentrates all judicial, legislative and executive powers on the King.
  • Multiparty democracy

Lastly, we want to encourage the people of Swaziland to intensify the struggle for freedom and the fight for a democratic Swaziland.

Hamba Kahle Masuku, Nhlane, Mthondowethuse othundabathole bafokanza.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU National Spokesperson) at 082 455 2500 or email: